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For Immediate Release

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Maryland Electric Utilities Express Support for Move by PSC To Delay Implementation of Electric Restructuring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 31,  1998

Four investor-owned electric utilities and two electric cooperatives that serve more than 99 percent of all Maryland customers today expressed support for the decision by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to delay certain parts of its recent order to restructure the state's electric utility industry.

Issued Dec. 3, the PSC's original order called for customer choice of electricity suppliers to begin April 1, 1999, with full implementation to be completed by April 1, 2001. However, today's move by the PSC calls for customer choice of electricity suppliers to begin July 1, 2000, with full implementation to be completed by July 1, 2002 .

In a joint statement, the top-ranking executives of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Potomac Electric Power Company, Delmarva Power & Light Company, Allegheny Power, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative expressed support for the PSC's actions.

'We want to reiterate that we strongly support the move to customer choice," the utility executives said. 'Electric restructuring is a very complex issue that needs to be done right the first time. This move by the PSC affords all parties involved in the process the time they need to achieve that goal. It also should allow the Maryland General Assembly the time it needs to consider the legislation needed to make customer choice a reality and a benefit for all Marylanders.

'Our customers have expressed great concern about how restructuring will affect them," the utility leaders continued. 'It is clear that Marylanders simply will not tolerate a decrease in the quality or consistency of their electric service. Working together with the PSC and the legislature, we are optimistic that we can move to customer choice without compromising customer service."

The leaders of the utilities expressing support for the PSC's actions are: Christian H. Poindexter, Chairman and CEO, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.; John M. Derrick, Jr., President and CEO, Potomac Electric Power Company; Howard E. Cosgrove, Chairman and CEO, Delmarva Power & Light Company; Alan J. Noia, Chairman, President and CEO, Allegheny Power; I. Wayne Swann, President, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative; and Frederick L. Hubbard, Executive V.P. and General Manager, Choptank Electric Cooperative.

Point of Contact:
Nancy Moses

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